Country Music Festival

The festival showcases 10 bands playing throwback country
Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum are only weeks away from the release of a new album, recorded live in May at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, Calif.Photo courtesy of Irene Young

Even smoky clouds can sometimes have silver linings, such as the one that canceled Laurie Lewis' five-day Rogue River raft trip, making the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass musician available to perform at the 2013 West Coast Country Music Festival.

After the raft trip was canceled, Lewis contacted festival director Dee Fretwell, who gladly rearranged the schedule to include Lewis and her longtime music partner, Tom Rozum.

Music Lineup

11:45 a.m. — Rainy and the Rattlesnakes

12:15 p.m. — Taetrio

1 p.m. — Sage Meadows & High Country

2:15 p.m. — Creekside String All-Stars

2:45 p.m. — The Bee Eaters

3:30 p.m. — Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

4:30 p.m. — Jef Fretwell & The Detractors

5:45 p.m. — Copper and Coal

7 p.m. — The Scott Law Electric Trio

8:15 p.m. — Caleb Klauder Country Band

Ten bands, including the late addition, will play the festival, which kicks off at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Greensprings Inn, 11470 Highway 66, Ashland.

West Coast country is a label used to describe classic — not pop — country with a honky-tonk twist, Fretwell says

"The genre is not new," she says. "It's a genre that has never been formalized. It started with Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens, Gram Parsons and those folks who helped develop this country music sound. The catch is that there is an electric guitar or telecaster edge and some honky-tonk in there as well."

Lewis on fiddle and guitar and Rozum on mandolin, mandola and guitar will play "a mixture of old-time and bluegrass-flavored early country" that includes originals, as well as songs by Bill Monroe, Jimmie Rogers and other pioneers of the genre. At the festival, the pair will play as a duo and with chambergrass trio, The Bee Eaters, featuring cellist Tristan Clarridge, fiddler Tashina Clarridge, and Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer.

Other headliners include Portland-based honky-tonk groups the Caleb Klauder Country Band and Copper & Coal.

The former is a cowboy outfit that features acoustic guitarist and mandolin player Caleb Klauder, guitarist Reeb Willms, bassist Jesse Emerson, fiddler Sam Weiss, pedal steel guitarist Russ Blake and drummer Ned Folkerth.

The band plays originals, reminiscent of '50s- and '60s-style country, along with obscure covers by George Jones, Jimmy C. Newman, The Louvin Brothers, The Stanley Brothers and others.

"We're kinda from that era after Hank Williams, right when George Jones was coming on and rock 'n' roll was coming in," Klauder says.

The six-piece Copper & Coal band, formed last year by Michigan natives Leslie Beia and Carra Stasney, blends tight harmonies and soaring pedal steel and fiddle in its original country. The band also has a soft spot for songs by Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Kitty Wells and Hank Williams.

Also from Portland, Scott Law on telecaster guitar and the rest of his electric trio — bassist Damian Erskine and Russ Kleiner — will play his original, twangy amped-up vintage country. Law will have prerelease copies of his new acoustic album, "Black Mountain," available at the show.

Also playing the West Coast Country Music Festival are Rainy and the Rattlesnakes, featuring sisters Lela and Rainy Miatke, their father Ray Miatke on guitar and Greg Allen on standup bass; Taetrio, a trio with Tashina Clarridge and two of her fiddle students; guitarist Jef Fretwell and his band The Detractors, featuring Sage Meadows on bass, Matthew Kriemelman on drums and Dal Carver on his 1974 Fender Rhodes electric piano; the Creekside String All-Stars, a group of Duane Whitcomb's music students; and Sage Meadows and her band High Country, featuring upright bassist Jeff Addicott, lap steel guitarist Bob Evoniuk, drummer Kyle Corones and guitarist David Hampton.

In addition to music, there will be a beer garden, hosted by Caldera Brewing Co.; food vendors, including the Greensprings Inn, Tabu and Sammich; and a kids zone with bean bag tosses, face-painting and a cowboy hat craft.

Tickets cost $15 in advance at, $20 at the gate and are free for youths ages 14 and younger. Proceeds will benefit Whitcomb's Creekside Arts and Education program and go toward medical expenses for 11-year-old Alex Shepherd, who is being treated in Portland for brain cancer.

Preceding the festival, Law will offer a guitar workshop, Tashina Clarridge a fiddle workshop and Whitcomb a free children's fiddle jam from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the inn. The workshops are open to all levels and cost $15.

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